Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Disturbing news this way comes


Source: BRAINSTRUST


Ned fired this my way earlier this evening.

Colour me concerned. Colour me very concerned.

I can understand how they might be getting screwed through distribution arrangements into the States and Europe, but to the tune of millions in losses year on year? Just where has this all gone?

I love Modular. I love their work and many of their acts (Cut Copy, The Presets, Van She, Ladyhawke, Bang Gang, New Young Pony Club among others) and they helped bring about some of the best nights of my life (Never Ever Land, Cut Copy at The Forum). I just hope they're able to ride this out or I really don't know what I'll end up doing.

Listening to *gags* rock music? *shivers* No thanks.

The madness continues


Source: Business Week


Ladyhawke featured on TV3's Campbell Live earlier this evening.

I love that she's getting a lot of attention but the extent to which the media are almost zealously chasing her is almost disturbing.

Now I'm not saying we shouldn't celebrate success, and I'm really glad Pip is getting some serious love back home in the newer of the Zealands, but things are starting to get out of hand.

If the mainstream media love keeps growing we'll end up with first-years and plastics flooding the bath house when it should instead be chock full of hot indie types of the skinny jeans, swept fringe and nonchalant stare variety.

We like that type.

They're a very good type.

Very... aesthetic.

We like aesthetic.

"Is that a cock ring?"




Amy Sedaris.

Sister of David.

David wrote a story in his book Me Talk Pretty One Day about how he and his sisters returned to their parent's place for a public holiday of some kind and Amy opted to come back in a fat suit just to freak out her folks. The disguise worked so well that her father just couldn't handle his daughter having gained so much weight. Like really couldn't handle it.

Ah, brilliant.

We love Amy here on SFTWM. Oh yes, we really do.

Haiku Review: Gonzo


Source: theblog books


The fist has two thumbs!
McGovern for President!
Was that a gang bang?


I managed to catch the second screening of a great documentary of the life of Hunter S Thompson, and I'm really glad I did. It gathered some brilliant insights from many of the people he'd come across in his long career as a political journalist and writer and it managed to successfully avoid focussing on his more eccentric aspects.

Sure, drugs and alcohol featured heavily in Hunter's life, pretty much since the Hell's Angels days that kick started his career. As the film progresses you see a man become too used to them, certainly to a point of near-total dependence towards the end of his life. And with that you see a man in decline. The writing that made him famous and known and loved and adored suddenly left him, leaving him with nothing better to do than indulge the fantasies he'd engendered in others.

And yet, what really makes the film are the interviews with contemporaries while he was writing. Pat Buchanan. Tim Crouse. George McGovern. Jimmy Carter. They all helped build a fuller and more hopeful perspective to Hunter's character and revealed more of the man than the caricature of an off-his-face firearms addict.

One aspect that didn't sit too well with me however was the complete absence of the Clinton years from the doco. His book, Better Than Sex, was a scathing indictment on the Clintons, so much so he pretty much equated Bill Clinton with Richard Nixon. It's a shame this period of his career was completely ignored as it would have provided an especially timely bridge between the Nixon-era and the Bush-era and the 'horrors' he saw visited upon his beloved America.

Thompson had a love affair with America and Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson does a brilliant job of capturing that complex relationship between a man, his ideals and the country he wanted to see saved.

If you get a chance, you really should see it.

Here's the trailer.

Coming in at 69...


Source: Naughty Candy Treats


... is North American essayists David Rakoff (Canadian) and David Sedaris (American) appearing together in one of many sessions at Melbourne's Writers Festival the third and fourth weeks of August.

What's funny about America? I really wish I had a chance to find out.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

68


Source: Tomato


Fuck.

Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck.

Ferran Adria is being feted in Melbourne by the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival on October 19. That's nine days after I fly out of Melbourne. That's more than three weeks after Parklife. That's really not going to work for me.

If you don't know who Ferran Adria is then all I can say is "shame on you". Ferran is responsible for Spanish restaurant elBulli, a veritable fount of deconstructivist cuisine, has 3 Michelin stars, is ranked as one of the best restaurants in the Western world, and consequentially sports a waiting list the length of which you simply could not conceive.

He is apparently appearing in support of his soon-to-be-released book, A Day At elBulli, and tickets to the event perhaps including the book as well at a price that the book alone would no doubt sell.

I'll be adding this to the ever-burgeoning list of reasons why I need to move to Melbourne, along with David Sedaris and Augusten Burroughs appearing for the Melbourne Writers Festival in the third week of August. Oh and every gig and concert by acts that rarely, if ever, come to New Zealand.

Yeah, so Ferran Adria would probably be reason number 68.

Monday, 28 July 2008

Points of clarification : Ladyhawke


Source: The Docking Station


Numero uno : 13 August 2008
Last Friday saw the long-awaited announcement that tickets for Ladyhawke's Auckland and Wellington gigs were finally on sale at Real Groovy, Cheese On Toast and a few other places. About bloody time, really. Three weeks out from the big night? Not a good look. Thanks to Mr Chris, I have a ticket as does the lovely Kelly. I just have to sort out paying the man money owed and we'll be all set for a great night out.

As for support acts, we here in our nation's Capital get DJ Marek, while Auckland gets Surf City and Aroha. They don't quite compare to Van She and Tame Impala for her Australian appearances, but then I don't know any of them beyond seeing Marek's name associated with a few Vice parties and what I think is a residency at Good Luck. Mind you, after listening to Tame Impala's Skeleton Tiger I'm left wondering what Modular was thinking in signing them in the first place.


Numero dos : 27 July 2008
There's a pretty good write-up about Ladyhawke (cover photo and everything) in yesterday's Sunday Star Times-supplement, Sunday. There's stuff on Peaches flying across from Berlin to support her at London's Hoxton Bar & Kitchen, her growing up in Masterton and a lot about how laid-back she is and how that is a reflection on New Zealanders in general. It's a lot better than the standard pap that's been floating around about Ladyhawke and well worth the read.


Numero tres : 12 September 2008
I've pre-ordered Ladyhawke's debut album from JB Hi-Fi, and the special pre-order pack includes the Back Of The Van 12", Ladyhawke pin badge, Ladyhawke tote bag and or course the Ladyhawke CD. Not a bad haul for AU$24.99 plus shipping.

I haven't seen this anywhere else, so here goes. The tracklisting for Ladyhawke's debut album is...

1. Magic
2. Manipulating Woman
3. Another Runaway
4. Better Than Sunday
5. My Delirium
6. Love Don't Live Here
7. Back of The Van
8. Paris Is Burning
9. Professional Suicide
10. Dusk Til Dawn
11. Crazy World
12. Morning Dreams



Numero cuatro : 28 July 2008
Despite appearances to the contrary, I'm not fanatical about Ladyhawke. I just enjoy her music and am glad to get the chance to see her live. No-one I ever want to see comes to New Zealand, at least not when I can see them, so this naturally means a lot to me.


Numero cinco : 16 June 2008
Asian Dan posted the incredible Cut Copy remix of Ladyhawke's Paris Is Burning. If you don't have it already, you should head here and pick it up. Your life will be all the better for it.

Haiku Review: [REC]


Source: Upcoming Horror Movies


Unholy screaming.
Lights are out. You hear something.
Don't use night vision.


This is another film fest gem that Mr Chris got me along to and I still don't really know what to think about it. Think Blair Witch-meets-Resident Evil-minus-the evil Umbrella Corporation and where no-one speaks English. The Spanish-made [REC] is just a horror film of the worst kind: it is relentless.

Quite different from the art-horror of Del Toro and Hideo Nakata, [Rec] is like watching a home movie gone wrong. Starting initially with a bored human interest piece on night shift fire crews, the focus soon shifts to an emergency call to an apartment building and things progressively getting more interesting from there. Shot entirely from the point of view of the camera viewfinder, you only see and hear what the hand-held camera sees and hears.

This isn't anything you wouldn't have seen before, and the film moves along a fairly familiar narrative. So much so you know what's about to happen and you're all but yelling at the screen to not go there / don't approach the zombie child with your outstretched hand / don't switch on the nightvision.

I jumped in my seat more times than I care to admit and did so a lot harder than with Dark Water (easily my favourite horror). Would I see this again? Probably not, but don't let that get in the way of you seeing it.

Here's the trailer.

Haiku Review : The King of Kong


Source: One Man's Blog


Right. Jump. Climb ladder.
Jump. Grab hammer. Smash barrel.
Save the girl. High score!


Thanks to Mr Chris, I was able to see gamer-geek doco The King of Kong. The film follows Washington man Steve Wiebe as he takes on Billy Mitchell's high score record from 1982. No-one had ever come close to even challenging the high score, so much so Billy had pretty much given up playing video games and instead uses his 'fame' (and I use that term very loosely) to sell barbecue hot sauce. Billy is really something else and if not for him this film would have been so much less interesting and the ending so less worthwhile. The man really does need to be seen to be believed.

Essentially the story of one man's hard-fought odyssey to the dizzy heights of world champion, this is more importantly a film about people who take things far too seriously. These guys sacrifice normal lives, the happiness of their families, and god only knows how many quarters in pursuit of the high score to beat all high scores.

I'd never felt so normal as when I was watching this film. Actually, scratch that. I've never felt so oppressively hip as when I was watching this film.

Here's the trailer.

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Yeah... so... hmm...


Source: NIT Online



Been a bit busy these last few days, despite having plenty to blog about.

So, expect a great constipated evacuation this coming weekend.

Or don't.

Entirely up to you.

Sunday, 20 July 2008

So remember, boy, you're a superstar


Source: Audible Vitamins


Tricky is a man whose music I've long-admired. Like, long-admired.

1995's Maxinquaye and its standout track Black Steel gripped me in ways I'm yet to recover, gripped me in ways that have seen me pick up almost every album he's ever come out with, gripped me in ways that see me coming back for more despite how hard he makes it for anyone to happily follow his musical career.

And there's the rub. Songs like Aftermath, Evolution Revolution Love, and Broken Homes make you want to buy the album only to find the rest of the album so very inaccessible. I mean, 1999's Juxtapose was probably his most-approachable album and yet it was also perhaps his least interesting.

I've given his new album Knowle West Boy a decent few listens and it sounds pretty good and, dare I say, almost approachable. For those who don't normally get into Tricky, his edit of Kylie's Slow would be worth the purchase alone. It's quite similar to what he did with Garbage's Milk back in the Romeo+Juliet days.

Anywho, here's the video for the first single, Council Estate, off the new album. You'll notice it gets back to a more sparse and more twangy, with hints of Gone Baby Gone in the bassline. Nice.

A new translation... for integration




Ok, so this is the new video for the Midnight Juggernauts' song Into The Galaxy. This is the second single Institubes are releasing from the Juggers' debut album Dystopia to coincide with the band's progressive move into less-Antipodean pastures(read: North America).

It is also the second official video that's been done for the song and to be honest I'm left wondering what was wrong with the first one.



I can't say what KROZM did for Cut Copy's Lights & Music did a lot for me (in fact, I already have), but I much prefer the earlier version of Into The Galaxy to the new one. I don't know, it just looks better. It also probably better reflects how I see them as an indie electro-rock act rather than a gaggle of hippie indie kids jamming away in the backblocks of Bumfuck, Nowheresville.

Hippies don't really do a lot for me.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

In case you didn't already know...


Source: Perez Hilton


... Christian wins Project Runway tomorrow night on TV3.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

I'm holding out for a hero 'til the morning light


Source: Logic + Emotion


I'm not one for delving into young adult fiction. Once you wade through the blatantly obvious themes, dismiss the cookie-cutter stereotypes, and forgive the incredibly dull plot lines one is often left to face what amounts to woeful turn of phrase. That it has to be dumbed down and simplified so teenagers can understand what they're reading is both pointless and demeaning. Exceptions to this rule however have been Markus Zusak's The Book Thief and now Perry Moore's Hero.

Hero traces the coming of age of a teenager with superpowers. The son of a disgraced superhero (one of the few who lacked superpowers), he spends most of the book fighting inner demons in obscurity and alone pretty much the whole way through the book. I mean, we are talking bleak, bleak, bleak stuff here.

Making matters worse is that this is a book about a gay teenager with superpowers, so the teenage insecurities of a guy struggling with a destiny he doesn't quite understand are occasionally overwhelmed by often painfully shallow ponderings on what it is to be a young gay man. I understand the importance of writing a book like this for young gay men to identify and relate to, but I do wonder about the adolescent attitude towards much of it. That may seem harsh, but I've become particularly annoyed with the often childish attitude a lot of gay men take to relationships irrespective of whether they're 18, 25, 35 or older.

What saves the book, and ultimately what kept me reading the damn thing at four in the morning, are the bits about the life of the superhero that we don't always see in movies, on television, or in comic books. That and the climactic fight scene at the end of the book.

I don't know that I could recommend this book to anyone. Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed reading it and found it captivating enough to keep me reading it in the one sitting until sunrise the following morning, but it remains at least for me a somewhat guilty pleasure.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Songs that sound so much better live




Welcome to the first in this series : Van She with Changes

I don't know about this video. It seems quite jerky and the song just seems flat against what comes across as a largely irrelevant visual.

Which is a shame because I really quite liked it when Van She performed this song about a month back at Melbourne's Corner Hotel. Sure it lacked the instant appeal of other songs in their set like Sex City and Strangers, but then those songs are hard to beat live.

If...



... Van She and Tame Impala are supporting Ladyhawke in Australia, who will be her support acts here in Wellington and Auckland?

Monday, 14 July 2008

How do I feel for thee?


Source: missingtoof


Courtship dating is one of the better songs on Crystal Castle's self-titled debut album. Along with Vanished (a Crystal Castles edit of Van She's Sex City), Courtship Dating helps make up for an album that features many tracks that had been in circulation for a fair while before the album's formal release.

I love this song. I really do. It is so chock full of chiptune harmonies and Alice's screechy vocals, that it makes me wish it were a longer song.



Despite controversies surrounding the early use of an image from a vintage flyer and the alleged (I say "alleged" because I don't know if they did or did not do what they've been accused of doing) borrowing of chiptunes without permission or reference to the original artist (I know there's a better term for that), I still really enjoy their album.

It may not be for everyone but then I'm not everyone.

You set me on... You set me on... You set me on FIIIIIIIIRE!!!


Source: myspace


Modular just announced dates for Ladyhawke's triumphal return to the Antipodes.



** LADYHAWKE – AUS / NZ LIVE SHOWCASE TOUR **

Wednesday 13 August - San Francisco Bathhouse, Wellington NZ

Thursday 14 August - Kings Arms, Auckland NZ

Friday 15 August - Club Mod Party at The Prince, Melbourne VIC

Saturday 16 August – Club Mod Party at The Forum, Sydney NSW

Friday 22 August – Berline Lounge, Gold Coast QLD

Sunday 24 August – Greenwood Hotel, North Sydney NSW




I don't care if there's a never-before-seen plot twist on Shortland or Coronation Sts. I don't care if the government dissolves amid a series of crippling political scandals. I don't care if it was my night to cook dinner. I don't care if we were meant to spend quality time together discussing what we both felt was important in our lives together.

Why?

I'm spending the night of the 13th at San Fran rocking out to Ladyhawke.

Awesome.



You can check out her tour diaries on youtube for London here, Ibiza here and Glastonbury here.

And because I have so much love for you my readers, here's Ladyhawke rocking it like a retrolicious* Stevie Nicks in Back Of The Van.





* retrolicious was mine before it was his.

I just love robots, don't you?


Source: Play Imaginative


Coming very soon from Singapore-based designer toy company Play Imaginative should be these two figures: Astrodemonio and Evil King.





An East-meets-West (fuck I hate that term) design collaboration between Italian designer Tokidoki (Astrodemonio) and Japan's Devilrobots (Evil King), these figures will weigh in at an impressive 8" of old school robot goodness. Each will also come with it's own 'driver' on a keychain.

I love how the Evil King figure looks like it is meant to transform to become the head of a much larger robot. It's just so Voltron.

I only hope POPUP gets these in.



UPDATE: Ok, so I just noticed the Astrodemonio figure also kinda looks like it should transform into the head of a larger robot figure.

Lucky number 13


Source: Kid Robot


Ladies and gentlemen, this fine vinyl figure above represents the 13th 8" dunny figure to enter my collection. I quite like it, even if the design does seem more outwardly simple than other 8" dunny figures in my collection...




Coming up soon is this adorable 8" number from Italian designer Tokidoki...




And this 20" fierce behemoth from Japan's Touma...




And yet, of all the dunnies I could have, there remains one that I want most of all...

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Important life questions




Corporate Cannibal is the new single from her forthcoming album Hurricane.

Yes, the song is all kinds of weird. Yes, the song is all kinds of gay. Yes, the song is sung by an incredibly well-preserved 60-year old performer. Yes, the song does have a remarkably familiar feel about it.

So, is it me or is Grace Jones channeling late 90s trip hop? More specifically, is Grace Jones becoming the new Tricky?



Corporate Cannibal bears many of the hallmarks of Tricky's earlier work. Although lacking the complex arrangements of Maxinquaye's Black Steel, it still sounds grave and ponderous and punctuated with distorted guitars.



Hat-tip to LHT

Benny Benassi meets Aphex Twin???


Source: Trash Menagerie


$$ Troopers is a song that Finland's Huoratron released late last year and to be honest I didn't know what to think when I first heard it. I mean it sounded kinda similar to a lot of the Ed Banger stuff that was flooding the blogosphere back then, but then it also didn't fit with a lot of what we were listening to at the time either. Throw it next to a track by Digitalism, Simian Mobile Disco or even Justice and everyone will wonder what's wrong with you.

However, for all its atypicality last year I have to say I'm really enjoying it this year. I'd probably describe at as slightly sparse techno with chiptune flourishes thrown in for good measure, but a more helpful description would probably be Benny Benassi meets Aphex Twin in a Love Is Gonna Save Us meets Come To Daddy kind of way.

Weird, I know, but you'll get what I mean when you see the video for Huoratron's $$ Troopers.



I don't know about you but I find the neck stretch at the 3:06 mark more than a little unnerving.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Sacrifices must be made


Source: Amazon


With another trip to Melbourne in the none too distant future, I've made the brave call to not bother with this year's film festival. Previous years have been an inordinate drain on both cash and annual leave, two things I'll need for my September / October sojourn.

I'm not saying I'm penniless or at the brink of destitution. Far from it. I'd just like a healthy buffer for what will be a fairly raucous two weeks. Yes, two weeks. Yes, I am aware that one week generally renders me near-dead and leaves you all somewhat strained in your patience at my late night txts, drunken phone calls and oft-oppressive sentimentality. This is, however, how it must be.

So, dear reader, think of me when you pop along to your no-budget New Zealand film, your emotionally-wrought Scandinavian family drama, your irrationally blurbed Asian character study, your bleeding heart documentary, and your gritty South American sob story.

Think well of me.

Is my halo blinding? Really? Oh.

By your command


Source: The thoughts for awake people




I'm a big fan of Battlestar Galactica.

Have been since I was a kid when Lorne Green was leading the last vestiges of the 12 tribes of Kobol in search of the 13th tribe on Earth. I didn't care about the inherently ridiculous storylines, the terrible acting or awful special effects because I just loved the Cylons.

They had the cooler ships, had the light and sounds of Knight Rider's K.I.T. (very popular in Canada back then). I remember in one episode during the Earth part of the earlier series where a Cylon started going apeshit because a hostess was warming up her canapes in the microwave. So funny.

It's a shame then that the new Cylons don't look so cool. The Centurions have become CGI stick figures and the human Cylons annoyingly repetitive. Their ships however have never looked better. The batwing-esque raiders. The ominous basestars. The Escher-esque heavy raiders. Awesome.

As the fourth and final season of the 'reimagined' Battlestar Galactica screens in the States, C4 will from tomorrow night begin screening the third season. To anyone who has enjoyed the first two seasons, you're in for a bizarre ride that will at times leave you wondering just where the hell it is all heading. Trust me when I say it does get better. Just understand it does get weird. The punchline at the end will also leave you scratching your head.

I'd say more, but some of you haven't already seen it on DVD.

Hey... this is Juan


Source: Lanky


Everyone, this is Nancy and the boys from The Juan Maclean. Actually, that's John "Juan" Maclean with the bald head off to the left of the photo.

They're one of many acts under the DFA label run by James Murphy (aka LCD Soundsystem) and Tim Goldsworthy (dude that produced Cut Copy's incredible sophomore effort In Ghost Colours) and proved themselves to be one of the more impressive support acts I've ever had the pleasure of seeing.

Opening for Cut Copy back in June, I can't say I knew many of their songs. Happy House had come out fairly recently as a single and was a funky 70s-inflected bit of... well, happy house, but that was about it as far as familiarity went. I won't lie and say that their set list miraculously came back to me as if resurrected like Lazarus from the tomb, because it wasn't and it didn't.

What did happen however was a revelation that turned the dancefloor at The Forum into my own road to Damascus. So powerful was it's impact that it soon sent me scrambling across some of Melbourne's better music retailers for anything and everything The Juan Maclean.

The song? You Can't Have It Both Ways.

You Can't Have It Both Ways has touches of Simian Mobile Disco's Sleep Deprivation, it has a relentless rhythm that carries you along, it has a kickbeat that just kicks the head back and forth, it has a hypnotising synth line that builds and draws you in all the more, and it is structured in a way where the different elements of the song simultaneously tug at you, much like Nancy's Siren call.

I just can't get enough of it. I really can't.

I'd love to post a link to it, but would rather avoid earning the wrath of DFA's legal team.

I'd post a youtube video of the song being performed or at least dropped live, but no-one seems to have uploaded one.

So go for a wander at lunchtime, happen upon a CD store, browse amongst the vast banks of empty cases and hunt down your own copy of DFA Compilation #1.

Bring a little adventure to your day and be sure of a happy ending.

Yeah... not that impressed


Source: New Zealand Restaurant Dining Guide


We lunched with the workplace wife at Wagamama today.

It seemed fairly newly established in the exposed glass section underneath Meridian Energy's fairly new digs on the waterfront, it sports quite an overtly trendy decor of obscenely long communal benches and hard-edged timber framing, it was bustling from a dining crowd that forced us to wait five minutes to be seated, and I was propelled by suitably reassuring murmurs from my 'significant other'.

Naturally, I was expecting good and wonderful things. Alas, I was let down.

The staff were nice enough, but seemed quite young and, dare I say, unusually unattractive given the trendy setting. I'm not saying they were unsightly to the point of putting me off my food. Far from it. It just seemed odd, that's all.

The communal bench seating had a novelty about it but not for very long. The four people to our right were prattling on and on about what the government was doing to promote New Zealand business overseas, while the two to our left thought they'd dissect the many reasons why one of them shouldn't get back together with her obvious dropkick of an immediate ex-boyfriend. Both conversations, both extremely dull, made it difficult for the wife and I to discuss more worthy matters. Further, rubbing shoulders with other diners is not an entirely pleasant way to dine.

The menu seemed large and chock full of options, but turned out to be variations (beef, chicken, prawn, vegetarian) on a limited number of themes (rice, soba noodles, udon noodles, soup with noodles, etc.). I was also mildly offended by the way the numbered menu gave our lunch a depressing diner feel. After all we were sharing the 102, I was having the 42 while madame had the 36, all of which was washed down with a bottle of the 702. That somewhat killed any romance the occasion might have otherwise enjoyed. Further, having the waitperson scrawl the number of my dish on my placemat isn't what one normally expects from a trendy setting. Not in the least.

Now to the food. Well, it was ok. It wasn't terrible, but I would have hoped for much better. I've certainly enojyed far less expensive meals at Miyabi Sushi, Matrui Sushi and even Hede. Maybe the kitchen has yet to settle in. Maybe it was an off day. Maybe the menu is too large for such a small kitchen to deal with. Either way the ebi gyoza were lacking in prawn and obviously over-cooked, my yaki udon was flat and remarkably unseasoned, while madame's messily-consumed chicken kare lomen could have been spicier and more flavoursome. On the upside, the sparkling mineral water was quite refreshing.

Would I go back? Sure, but I'd be expecting a better experience the next time around.

Don't get me wrong. I'm certainly glad the franchise has come to Wellington to add to a roster that Chow has all but dominated in recent years. It may just require a few visits to see if Wagamama can beat Chow's ever-faithful rib of beef dish.

Monday, 7 July 2008

"Things are bad...

... when it is too cold to get any sleep" he says from the cavernous depths of his blanket igloo.

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Viewer feedback




C4 is on in the background while I type and I'm sitting here wondering just what the fuck has happened to their programming. Now is the hour for the seriously alt videos to emerge from beneath the tyranny of mainstream Top 40 rubbish. Now is not the hour for Jesus & Mary Chain, Pearl Jam or any other has-been 90s 'rock' act. Now is the hour for Tom Vek, Chromeo, The Presets and Cut Copy.

Call me the headmaster, but C4 really must try harder.

While they're at it it would be helpful if they sorted out a timeslot for the kind of electro that tears up the blogosphere. Sure, we get the occasional Cut Copy or Presets video appearing amidst the latest Mariah Carey / Goodnight Nurse / Opshop video, but that isn't really good enough. Sure we have Watch This Space, but all too often the more indie rock videos tend to crowd out the more electro videos.

I'm just saying it would be nice if we could have our own hour of hot tunes. It could even be scheduled for some ridiculous hour of the night because we tend to be up at ridiculous hours of the night anyway.

Food for thought, n'est-ce pas?

Ugh!

All this rock music is making me irritable.



UPDATE: The video for Curve's Fait Accompli just came on. I stand corrected.

Let us not speak of such things




The events of this evening are perhaps best left unmentioned.

The same applies to the slew of embarrassingly sentimental txt messages that some of you may have received. To those that haven't received such txts, please don't feel particularly unloved. It is just that some numbers are easier to come by on my cellphone's directory than others.

I really need to learn to leave my phone the hell alone.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

The Munny Strikes Back!


Source: POPUP


I was talking to Piers about this a few days back and we came up with a pretty good idea that involved matches, melting and moulding. I hope it comes off well. It should come off well. I just hope it does. I'm mocking it up as I type.

I'd also like to do a piece with flocking, but know the round shape of the head could be problematic for ensuring there is a smooth finish to the piece

I just need to get me some of these wee buggers and I'll be on my way to getting an entry into the competition.

The competition starts in a week or so, all entries need to be in by 12pm on 31 August and voting apparently ends 30 September 2008.

Awesome.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Something to look forward to

I just hope I'm back from Melbourne in time to see these guys...





Oh and I've pre-ordered August releases of Van She's forthcoming album V, as well as this...



and this...



August is going to be a great month. A great month indeed.


The important question though is, can I stretch myself enough to see these guys in Auckland for their first New Zealand appearance?



I wonder if Sohomo will be running a night up there around the same time? Hmmm... I must remember to ask them.

I want


Source: High Snobiety


i-D Magazine entered into a collaboration with artist Kaws for it's latest issue and with that went the obligatory about the artist, his approach, how his career had evolved over the years. All good and interesting things to know from the man himself, but what perhaps captured my attention more than anything else was the incredible black 4' companion he has standing next to him through much of the video.

I mean, just look at it!



I'd give a fair bit to have one of my own. My want for it is quite immense.

Friends of mine have a smaller one and I covet it every time I'm invited over for a movie / ping pong / dinner / drinks / whatever. Covet it good and plenty.

Hat-tip to Bobby over at Kitsune Noir for the interview.

Helping Hand


Source: Lifelink Counselling


I am really enjoying E.M. Forster's The Life To Come & Other Stories. Just loving it. Forster has a very proper turn of phrase which is to be expected given the period in which it was written, but he also has a delicious way of subverting polite convention in a way that appeals in a similar sense as the ultimately defeating grip on honour and loyalty seen in Japanese Samurai and Chinese / Hong Kong kung fu films of the 70s.

There's the story about the uni student about to graduate into a life of opportunity if he can just get through the brief holiday break in the countryside, the chance meeting with his childhood friend, the revelation of paths between the two growing ever-wider over the years, and ultimately how in an instant his future path was lost to him in an instant. The way Forster drags out the immediate events following the 'event' brilliantly highlight how the severity of what happened had a lingering and ponderous effect on the central character. It showed every bit the nature of a person in shock of what had happened to him, conscious it had happened but not altogether able to conceive it could have happened to him.

There's the other story about the prospective groom on holiday in Italy with his bride-to-be's family, a dreadfully dull holiday punctuated by dull moments with dull people. Suffering sleeping problems he resorts to an old uni trick that involved convincing himself he was someone else, thereby ignoring whatever troubled him enough to keep him awake. The subtlety in the conversation between him and his bride-to-be was a wonderful display of wistful hope driving her to see far too much of far too little and to then turn angrily against the man that had made her feel foolish from no fault of his own. It ends disastrously (like, really disastrously) but overall provides a great character study of the consequences of convention, the tyranny of seeming proper, and the bizarre behaviours such constraints bring out even among loved ones.

And then there is his short story Helping Hand. This is a lovely wee gem. A researcher makes the mistake of helping provide background on an obscure Italian painter to a seemingly innocently-interested woman of stature, only to find himself out of coin and reputation with the innocently-interested woman of stature publishing his theories as her own. Success follows the publication and with her success comes his simmering resentment for the position he has found himself in. Being the proper gentleman he is he of course keeps his unhappiness to himself and soon absconds to meet with an old master. While away his wife discovers what has happened to her husband with the publication of his theories and swiftly sets out to right this wrong against her husband. The story finishes with his relaxed return and the revelation that his theories, his research and his conclusions were all wrong regarding the artist.

Ok, so maybe a lot has been lost in my summation, but it was funny enough to have me laugh out loud on the bus. Much to the disgust of the person sitting next to me, I might add.

Anywho, I just thought it wonderful how the manners of appearance could bring out such meaningful relevance in the merest of gestures or of the few words left unspoken.

Ok, so maybe that is just me.

The artists formerly known as Wives With Knives


Source: Off The Radar Music


I received a message earlier today from The Bassoonist exhorting me, and other people like me, to attend the debut performance of his wind quintet this Sunday out amongst the thriving metropolis that is Paekakariki, former home of All Black Christian Cullen (I'm not sure the town has much else to claim as proudly Paekak-ian).

The wind quintet is *Got Wind of It*, but I think I preferred their earlier proposed name of Wives with Knives. Actually I know I prefer Wives With Knives but then it's not my quintet, so I don't get much of a say in such matters. Quite sad really.

It is apparently part of a mulled wine concert series and mulled wine will be served as yes they do promote the consumption of alcohol during their concerts as it is proven to make them sound better. So, I think I might train it up with an enormous G&T to keep me company. I'm thinking South with indian tonic water, a dash of rubbed cucumber and a splash of lime. You may have gathered that I don't plan on being sober for much of the occasion.

*Got Wind Of It* will be playing music by Ligeti, Hindemith, Malcolm Arnold, Ross Harris, some other people, some other people entirely, and a bossa nova version of Beethoven 5 (which greatly excites The Bassoonist). Apparently if that doesn't sound tasty we needn't worry because Louise will be showing some fantastic cleavage.

I don't know that I've ever stopped in Paekak, instead driving past on my way to better places. Should be an... 'experience'.

Ah, the things we do for love.